On Developing Trends

Ever since Wal-Mart announced it would begin to measure its 60,000 suppliers on their ability to develop packaging that is good for the environment, sustainability has been top of mind for brand marketers. We most recently reported on this topic in our May/June 2007 issue (archives at www.brandpackaging.com).
With approximately 25 percent of liquid laundry detergent sold in the United States through Wal-Mart stores, the retail giant saw an opportunity to make a big impact, and it has acted. Wal-Mart has announced it plans to sell only concentrated products in the liquid laundry detergent category in its U.S. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores.
According to Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott, the goal is to be a catalyst for transformation of the liquid laundry detergent category across the retail industry. “People expect business to step up and work together to help solve the big challenges facing the world,” says Scott.
Wal-Mart plans to sell only concentrated liquid detergent in all of its U.S. stores by early May 2008. The commitment is expected to save more than 400 million gallons of water, more than 95 million pounds of plastic resin and more than 125 million pounds of paperboard.
In 2005, Wal-Mart initiated a partnership with Unilever to dramatically reduce the packaging of its “all” detergent, which led to the introduction of all small-and-mighty. Procter & Gamble recently announced a full conversion of its entire liquid laundry detergent portfolio to new 2x concentrated formulations in North America. Wal-Mart has also partnered with Dial, Huish and Church & Dwight on a similar initiative.